You may stock up on fruits and veggies because they keep your body slim and nourished with vitamins and minerals. A new study found there is even more to love about your favorite health foods – they improve your complexion, too! The study, conducted by researchers from the University of St. Andrews school of psychology, followed the diets of 35 Caucasian people, and those who ate more fruits and veggies had a boost to their complexion coloring. They were also judged to be more attractive than those who did not eat the produce. Are you ready to dig into a fruit salad yet?
The study looked at carotenoids in certain types of produce. Beta-carotene is the one that gives fruits and veggies their orange hue, and lycopene gives a reddish color. Both act as a natural blush and bronzer while also nourishing your body. The researchers concluded that if you increase your portions of certain foods with these properties three-fold and keep up the healthy diet for about six weeks, you could start to see an improved complexion.
So where do we start? Here are the foods you can eat to give your skin a natural rosy glow.
Orange: yams, peaches, pumpkin, apricots and spinach
If you’re trying to look a little more sun-kissed, you might reach for bronzer or perhaps even book a spray tan. Instead, you might want to head to the grocery store and choose produce with a orange hue. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apricots and, surprisingly, spinach contain beta-carotene, and the red/yellow pigments are distributed to the skin’s surface when these foods are eaten. Don’t worry, you won’t look like an Oompa-Loompa – these pigments are likely to make a bit of a change, but nothing super drastic.
Another skin benefit of beta-carotene is that it can be converted into active vitamin A. Vitamin A has long been used to treat skin woes like wrinkles and acne.
Red: peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, apricots, pink grapefruit
Who doesn’t love a refreshing slice of watermelon or a spicy marinara sauce? Well, now there’s more to love, knowing the lycopene in certain fruits and veggies works to bring out the rosiness of your cheeks. Lycopene, also a carotenoid, helps the pinkish pigments rise to the surface of your skin.
Bonus: Lycopene has been proven to have cancer-fighting properties that are twice that of beta-carotenes because it is a powerful antioxidant.
For your skin’s sake if nothing else, load up half your plate with these tasty fruits and veggies.